Derby County 3 – 0 Sheffield Wednesday
Derby grabbed themselves the perfect tonic to get rid of their Cardiff hangover with an comprehensive victory over Sheffield Wednesday.
The Rams started brightly, they had lots of possession and were in complete control of the game. The first chance of the game fell to Rob Hulse, centre half Shaun Barker received a great ball from Lee Croft and delivered a pinpoint cross which Hulse headed just over. Derby’s second chance resulted in their first goal, Jake Livermore lifted a ball in for Paul Dickov who spotted an unmarked Croft at the back post, the lofted cross found the winger who powered the ball in off the underside of the bar.
The second half began with Derby really pressing the visitors; however early on Leon Clarke had the best chance of the half. Stephen Bywater’s throw out hit Dean Moxey’s heel and fell to Michael Gray, his square ball found Clarke who blazed over from 10 yards. Derby made the Owls pay for their poor finishing with a fantastic counter attack that ended up with their second goal. Lee Croft was released by Paul Dickov and his pass found Jay McEveley in the box to score past Lee Grant. Derby were dominant in the game now and chances kept on coming, Croft narrowly missed from 30 yards and Livermore couldn’t put the finishing touch to Ben Pringle’s pass. In injury time Derby put the icing on the cake with a third goal, a long ball from Bywater found Hulse goal side of his marker and bearing down on Lee Grant. As Hulse was about to get his shot away Lewis Buxton clumsily challenged him which resulted in referee Chris Foy awarding the Rams a penalty. Hulse got up and scored the penalty to give the Rams a 3-0 victory.
Coach Gary Crosby spoke to the media after the game and was pleased with what he had seen, “we wanted a good response, and we got one. It takes a hell of a lot of courage to go out in front of 30,000 people and keep on running and trying, and that’s what our players did. We said to the players before the match that they needed to show a response from the Cardiff game and give them credit, that’s exactly what they did. From the first whistle we were positive and showed great courage and character. It helps that we are going into a two-week break on a high. It’s come at the right time because it gives us a chance to get a few of the injured players fit.”
Goal scoring centre half Jay McEveley was delighted with his goal and the teams’ performance, speaking to the clubs official website he said: “It was a great feeling (to score), I managed to keep up with the play and Crofty pulled it back perfect for me. I decided to blast it because I didn’t want the gaffer having a go at me for placing it in case I missed! It was also terrific to get a clean sheet as well, that always helps and it was a great performance.”
It has been a tough week for Nigel Clough’s men, after ending their four game losing streak against Bristol City last weekend the Rams were brought back down to earth in Cardiff, but victory against the Owls has boosted confidence within the squad and the supporters. While no-one expects Derby to be challenging for promotion this season it is important to the fans that the team remain competitive. Up next after the international break is an East Midlands derby against Leicester City at the Walkers Stadium, Derby will be hoping to turn around their dismal away form by getting one over on their local rivals.
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